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Title: Direct dating of the human navicular from the Cueva de los Torrejones (Guadalajara, Spain)
Authors: Pablos Fernández, Adrián
Sala, Nohemi
Arribas Herrera, Alfonso ‎
Keywords: Feet;Holocene/Pleistocene;Iberian Peninsula;Navicular;Radiocarbon dating
Issue Date: Feb-2021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Radiocarbon, 2021, 63 (1), 213-222
Abstract: Pleistocene human remains are rare inland on the Iberian Peninsula. Most are considered Neandertals, but anthropological analyses and direct dating are rare. Recently, we published a study of a navicular from this region found in the Torrejones Cave. The results showed it differed from that of Neandertals and it was re-identified as Homo sapiens. Following the previous stratigraphic and biochronologic descriptions, we suggested that it could correspond to an Upper Paleolithic human, since the navicular was apparently recovered in the Late Pleistocene from an in situ unit. Direct radiocarbon dating from this fossil (4855–5036 cal BP), believed to be the only Paleolithic Homo sapiens from inland Iberia, as well as other hominin and faunal remains from the site, show that the human bones actually date to the Chalcolithic. The unexpectedly recent chronology for the navicular implies that there is no evidence of human fossils from the Upper Paleolithic in Torrejones Cave. Thus, any date from the Middle/Upper Paleolithic human record should be taken with caution until in-depth paleoanthropological, stratigraphical and/or direct dating studies are conducted. Extraordinary caution is recommended when human remains are recovered from apparently Paleolithic units in contexts bearing Holocene sepulchral units on the uppermost levels and/or some evidence of bioturbation.
ISSN: 0033-8222
DOI: 10.1017/RDC.2020.92
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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